North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip, state media reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program. A tearful television announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance" — a reference to advice dispensed by the "Dear Leader" on his trips to factories, farms and military bases. Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's youngest son, was named by North Korea's official news agency KCNA as the "great successor" to his father, which lauded him as "the outstanding leader of our party, army and people."
Tag Archives | North Korea
It seems North Korea’s internet borders are the only ones capable of being breached. Via BBC News:
Hackers have taken over social media sites associated with the North Korean regime, to make derogatory posts.
On 8 January, a Twitter account affiliated to the North’s regime began posting messages calling for an uprising.
Meanwhile a video appeared on the regime’s YouTube channel, depicting heir-apparent Kim Jong-un driving his sports car into women and children.
Users of a popular South Korean website have claimed responsibility.
The attacks coincided with Jong-un’s birthday.
[Continues at BBC News]
Wondering what objects people ruled by the world’s most repressive dictatorship would like to get their hands on? A Seoul-based professor who interviewed recent North Korean defectors was told that the hottest consumer goods from the past year include skinny jeans, ramen soup, porn films, and even human feces. The Korea Herald has the story:
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Skinny jeans, blue crabs, pig-intestine rolls and even human manure were some of the hottest items among North Korean consumers this year, according to a South Korean professor who has interviewed recent defectors from the communist country.
Kim Young-soo, a political science professor at Seoul’s Sogang University, said in a conference on Tuesday that adult movies, television dramas and instant noodle “ramen” made in South Korea are also selling “like hot cakes” in North Korea.
Skinny jeans refer to slim-fit pants that have gained popularity around the world, said Kim who interviewed about 2,000 defectors this year as part of a research project for the government.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
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Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria, apparently built with North Korea’s help, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said to State Department officials in April 2008, according to Yediot Aharonot quoting a cable recently released by Wikileaks.
The cable is the first official confirmation of the incident, and details the intelligence gathered before the attack, the collaboration between the US and Israel, the government’s move to bomb the Syrian reactor and concern that Syrian President Bashar Assad would retaliate with war, Yediot Aharonot reported, quoting the cable.
“We have avoided sharing this information with you until now for fear of and in an attempt to avoid a conflict,” Rice says in the cable.
“I would like to inform you that the Israeli attack was aimed at destroying the secret reactor built by Syria in a desert area in the east of the country called al-Kibar,” the cable quotes her as saying.
Via The Korea Herald:
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North Korea on Thursday reiterated its warning of nuclear warfare, with a top North Korean military leader saying that the North is ready to launch a “sacred war” against South Korea on the basis of its “nuclear deterrent.”
According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Young-chun, minister of the People’s Armed Forces, made the warning while reading a report during a ceremony in Pyongyang marking the 19th anniversary of leader Kim Jong-il gaining supreme commandership of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
“The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK (North Korea) are getting fully prepared to launch a sacred war of justice of Korean style based on the nuclear deterrent at any time necessary to cope with the enemies’ actions deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war,” Kim was quoted by the KCNA as saying in the report.
The first public images of Kim Jong Un as an adult, released Thursday by North Korean state media, showed the son of dictator Kim Jong Il bearing a striking resemblance to his father and grandfather, putting to rest one of the biggest mysteries about the nation's heir apparent—what he looks like today. The younger Kim, believed to be 26 or 27 years old, stood out in sea of older faces in video images and a photo of top North Korean officials taken Tuesday at a meeting of more than 1,000 representatives of the ruling Workers' Party.[continues at The Wall Street Journal] Via Associated Press:
This will be the third member of the family to take over the position, but Kim Jong Il’s youngest son is a mysterious one. There isn’t must information about him, other than he is in his twenties and went to school in Switzerland. With the lack of information being provided (not that it’s anything new for N. Korea) it allows room to question if this is his son at all or someone standing in as his son as a way to keep the leadership in the family. PBS News Hour reports:
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A major conference of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang has raised the expectation of a handover of power from Kim Jong Il to his youngest son.
The transition appears to have been underway for months. In June, Kim (pictured at right) promoted his brother in law to a top leadership post and made other Cabinet changes in what many considered preparation for turning over the government to his youngest son Kim Jong Un.